Monday, 29 August 2016

Metropolitan Police F.C. - Imber Court

Metropolitan Police F.C.
Metropolitan Police F.C.
Imber Court Stadium
Ember Lane
East Molesey

Ground Number: 15
Date: Saturday 27th August 2016
Score: Metropolitan Police F.C. 1-1 Tonbridge Angels
Competition: Ryman Premier
Attendance: 144

Today I find myself in a bit of a puzzle because today Sutton United were playing away to Chester and I was not given permission to go to the game which only meant one thing, I had to do some groundhopping. Now there were quite a few games that was a possibility for me going to today. Dulwich Hamlet were playing at home to Canvey Island but I have a Dulwich blog coming up soon so I decided not to go to this game. Merstham were playing at home to Hendon but again I have recently done a Merstham blog so I decided that there would be no point in going there at this time.
Image result for wingate and finchley badge
Molesey were playing at home to Ramsgate and Tooting and Mitcham were playing at home to Dorking Wanderers but these two games did not really feel appealing. Then I noticed that Metropolitan Police were playing at home to Tonbridge Angels today and Tonbridge are currently in the play-offs and Met Police are currently bottom so this game looked really appealing so I decided that this was the game for me.
I have not watched Metropolitan Police for a long time. The last time that I watched them was in fact the first time I watched them. This was at the start of the 2014/15 season when Met Police were playing at home to Margate and Met Police lost 3-0 and when I went to that game, I really enjoyed myself so when this oppertunity to go back to Metropolitan Police F.C came around, I didnt hesitate in making the decision to return to Imber Court.
Now the plan for today was to finish off my Merstham blog which by the time you are reading this, the Merstham blog will have already been published and then meet my dad at Sutton Bus Garage to meet him when he finishes work at around 1pm. Then we will probably go back to his house so he can get changed and then drive up to Imber Court and get there for around 2pm.
Metropolitan Police F.C. were founded back in 1919 so that the police could keep fit and have something to do basically. The original team consisted of serving police officers but this rule was removed when the Commissioner refused to sanction time off for the team. The club has not had a serving officer since 2011. The club now consists of mainly semi-professional footballers. The club is based at Imber Court which is a police training facility located in East Molesey. The training facility has a stadium called Imber Court which has a capacity of 3,000. The club`s main achievements have been in the London Senior Cup and the Surrey Senior Cup.
So I left my house at 12pm to go and get the bus to Sutton Bus Garage to meet my dad. When then went back to his house so he could get changed. We then watched some TV before heading out to drive out to East Molesey at 1:35pm. It is a fairly simple drive to Imber Court, we just have to go down the A3 for around 5 minutes and then we are about 5 minutes away when we come off the A3. We finally arrived at Imber Court at 2:10pm.
When we got into the ground the memories of coming here nearly two years ago came straight to my mind. When I entered the ground I got a small buzz of excitement because when I go to Imber Court I find it different to other grounds because the experience of there being not a lot of people watching the game makes the game different to what I am used to and as a groundhopper, I like to experience different feelings that different grounds offer.
I really like Imber Court. It is a very neat and tidy stadium and is definitely good enough for the Conference South but I feel that there could be another covered terrace to make the ground a bit better. The turnstiles are opposite the main stand. The main stand sits on side of the pitch and holds around 100 blue seats. This stand was installed back in the 1980`s. This side of the stadium also holds the toilets and tea hut. Then opposite the main stand is an uncovered walkway with some steps that runs the length of the pitch. This walkway is very narrow as well.
Then behind one of the goals is a covered terrace. This terrace is quite big for a team like Metropolitan Police F.C. and suits the Conference South so this terrace is quite out of it`s league. Then behind the other goal is an open area with a couple of steps. For some reason I really like Imber Court, even though I have only been here twice I love watching football here but the ground really lacks atmosphere which is a dissapointment.
Once inside the ground, we got a match day programme and we purchased a golden goal ticket for £1. We then headed round the stadium to take some pictures and the more we went round the ground, the more I seemed to like the ground. After taking some pictures, we headed round to the tea hut by the side of the main stand to get something to eat and drink. The food is very cheap at Imber Court, you can get a cheeseburger for £2.50 and a hot chocolate for £1. This means this is cheaper than just a burger at a National League stadium. The cheeseburger was amazing, the cheese was melted perfectly onto the burger and the hot chocolate was also really good. The cheeseburger was so good that I went and got another one.
By the time I had finished my second cheeseburger, the teams were about to come out so we went up to the main stand as it was were we decided to sit for the first half. The game kicked off and surprisingly the game started off very quickly as Tonbridge Angels took the lead within 2 minutes as Nathan Elder put the Angels in the lead. Tonbridge then had a few chances to score again and so Met Police also had a few chances to score but failed to score. Half time and it was 1-0 to Tonbridge and I felt disappointed that Met Police were losing but at least we had seen a goal.
During half time, we got a cup of coffee and I got another cup of hot chocolate. I have to admit, if you are looking for top quality food and drink at a football match, then Metropolitan Police F.C. is the place to come. We decided to stand behind the goal that Met Police were kicking towards for the second half and again both teams had chances to score but it seemed like Tonbridge Angels would scrape a 1-0 away win but out of nowhere, Met Police created a quick and fast attack and managed to find an equaliser in the 90th minute and me and my dad went wild as we wanted Met Police to get something from the game and they did.
The game was not very fun to watch to be totally honest, I love Imber Court but I feel that the way that Met Police play there football is not really attracting for me to watch. Met Police tend to play football with taking lots of touches and passing the ball slowly whereas I like very attacking football so this did let me down a bit but this got Met Police a point so it must work for them so I can`t really complain. I would recommend going to Metropolitan Police F.C. as they do great food, the stadium is decent and the people of the club are very friendly.
Stadium: 7/10
Bar: 6/10
Food & Drink: 8/10
Atmosphere: 4/10
Friendliness: 9/10
Value For Money: 7/10 
Overall Rating: 6.8/10

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Merstham F.C. - Moatside Stadium

Merstham F.C.

Merstham F.C.
Moatside Stadium
Weldon Way

Ground Number: 14
Date: Tuesday 13th January 2015
Score: Merstham F.C. 2-1 Sutton United F.C.
Competition: Surrey Senior Cup (3rd Round)
Attendance: 150

So tonight it was once again the Surrey Senior Cup, a competition that very few Sutton fans turn up for because we are not really bothered about it because we like to focus on the league, FA Trophy and the FA Cup. To get to this round of the Surrey Senior Cup, Sutton had to beat South Park 4-1 as Sutton enter the competition in the 2nd round.
In all honesty, I was really not bothered abut tonight`s game whether we win draw or lost. I still went to the game even though I don`t really care about the Surrey Senior Cup so I could still have a game to watch tonight. Now Merstham is a team that I have never been to before so realistically I was more interested in groundhopping tonight to a new ground (Merstham) rather than watching the game.
Now I do not remember a lot of the games that I went to when I started watching Sutton in the 2012/13 season but one of the games that I do remember is the Surrey Senior Cup final which was held at Gander Green Lane and Sutton United lost 1-0 to Godalming Town. Tonight, win lose or draw I do not really think many of our fans care because for Sutton, the Surrey Senior Cup is about giving some of the reserves a chance to prove themselves and to give the players who are normally on the bench a chance to prove themselves.
Now the plans for tonight was to leave my house at 6:30pm and get to the ground for 7:15pm because Merstham is realistically only just up the road from Sutton and is around a 30 minute drive to the ground because you have to go down some back roads. I was expecting some Sutton fans to be there tonight but not many.
Merstham are a fairly old club as they were founded back in 1892 which makes Merstham 6 years older than Sutton. The club`s nickname is the `Moatsiders` and they play their home games at the Moatside Stadium in Merstham. Merstham is a large village/small town near Redhill and is near the M25. The Moatside Stadium has a capacity of 2,000 and there is only around 150-200 seats but there is no confirmed number. When I go back to the ground again, I will count how many seats there are. As of tonight Merstham currently play in the Ryman Division One South but now they currently play in the Ryman Premier as they were promoted in 2015. In the early days of Merstham, the club spent a lot of time in the Redhill and District League but now they find themselves in the leagues just below the Conference North/South and a couple of leagues above the county leagues.
My dad arrived at my house at 6:20pm and he walked round to get me to make sure I had my flags and a spare jumper as it was cold tonight. We left my house at 6:30pm and we knew the way to the ground pretty well because earlier in the week we had driven to the ground so we know the way for tonight`s game. Now this may sound a bit weird but when we passed the M25 at the Merstham junction, I started to like the journey because sitting in the car when it is dark and going down the back roads of Surrey is quite entertaining for some reason, I do not know but me and my dad have such a sense of humour we find anything funny. There is limited parking at the ground so I would try to get their at least 30 minutes before the game because the ground is located on a housing estate so there may not be many parking spaces.
We paid to get in and we got a programme, but when we walked into the stadium, I immediately recognised that the stadium was quite open and in my opinion the stadium felt a bit unloved. Now Merstham does not have a lot of money to spend on their ground so I suppose for a team like Merstham who is small in terms of size, the stadium is good for a team of their stature. The ground has 4 main structures. On one side of the pitch is the clubhouse and the main stand. The clubhouse is the biggest structure in the stadium and the main stand has orange/yellow and black seats. This small seated stand holds around 150 seats. Then opposite this side of the ground is the dugouts and a concrete walkway and no terrace or stand. Then behind one of the goals is a small wooden covered terrace next to the goal and a concrete pathway. Then behind the other goal is a covered terrace which I quite like for some reason.
Once we had gone round the ground to take some pictures, we headed round to the tea hut to grab a bite to eat and a drink and me being me, I chose the same food and drink options that I usually chose which is a cheeseburger and a hot chocolate. The cheeseburger was actually really good and so was the hot chocolate and it was a cold evening tonight which meant that having a warm burger and hot drink made the cold weather not seem so bad. By the time I had eaten my burger and drunk my cup of hot chocolate, the teams were about to come out so I headed round to the covered terrace as it was starting to rain.
The teams came out and we looked at the line up and Sutton had put out mostly players that had been on the bench during league games and some players that have not been able to prove themselves so far in the season. Sutton were kicking towards the other goal which meant we had to change ends. We walked round to the other end and put our flags up but as soon as we put them up, it started to rain heavily so we took them down. Sutton was not really creating any chances and this shown in our performance and Sutton were caught in 34th minute as Merstham took the lead and this made the feeling in the Sutton end very droll.
Half time and Sutton were losing and we all felt tired and just wanted the game to be over. The teams came out and Sutton seemed to play a bit better as we started to create some chances and we finally had something to cheer for as Shaun Cooper scored for Sutton in the 63rd minute but in typical Sutton style, we have another few chances after scoring and we get caught in the 90th minute on the counter attack and Mertsham score and we all felt quite annoyed in a way but it is only the Surrey Senior Cup.

The game was very poor for Sutton, we just could not find any form for tonight and I think that it just was not for us tonight. Merstham deserved to win but I wasnt really expecting anything from tonights game but there were some positives which were I was able to visit another new ground, catch up with my Sutton mates and have another Sutton away game under my belt. If you live in Surrey or the surrounding areas then I would suggest visiting Merstham F.C.
Stadium: 6/10
Bar: 7/10
Food & Drink: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Friendliness: 8/10
Value For Money: 7/10
Overall Rating: 6.7/10

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Staines Town F.C. - Wheatsheaf Park

Staines Town F.C.

Staines Town F.C.
Wheatsheaf Park
Wheatsheaf Lane
TW18 2PD

Ground Number: 13
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015
Score: Staines Town F.C. 0-1 Sutton United
Competition: Vanarama National League South
Attendance: 325

Today was a game that I was really looking forward to for many reasons. The first reason why I am looking forward to this game is because in the 2013/14 season, my first ever away game of watching Sutton was here at Staines Town. My first ever away game was at Staines. The second reason why I was excited for this game was because it is kind of a friendly derby because we play in the same league and the clubs are just under 25 miles from each other and there are not that many teams in the London area (30 miles surrounding London) in this league, so we kind of thought of the game as a friendly derby.
I remember visiting Wheatsheaf Park last season (13/14) and even though we lost 2-1, I remember the atmosphere being incredible as I had never been to an away game before. This game was also very important for both teams because Staines were in a relegation battle and Sutton were in the bottom half of the table and needed some points to try and find some form to try and finish in a more respectable position at the end of the season. We knew that today`s game would not be easy.
As we have been to Staines before we was not planning on getting there really early. The plan was to leave my house just before 1pm and get to the ground at just before 2pm. Staines is only around a 40-45 minute drive away from where I live. My mates Johnnie and David and a mate from their school was coming to the game and they said they were getting to the ground for around 1:30pm so we would arrive around 20-30 minutes after them.
Staines Town were founded in 1892. The clubs nicknames are `The Swans` and `The Massive`. The club currently play at Wheatsheaf Park which has a capacity of 3,009 and there is 300 seats. The club currently play in the Ryman Premier but at the time of this game, Staines were playing in the Vanarama National League South. The first Staines Town folded in 1935 but after World War Two, the club was re-fromed. Between 1892 and 1935 Staines were known under many names such as Staines F.C., Staines Albany F.C., Staines Lagonda F.C, and Staines Town F.C. In 1953 Staines Town were founder members of the Hellenic League. In 1971, Staines advanced to the Athenian League and in 1973, Staines were elected to join the Isthmian League Division One. In the 2009-10 season Staines joined the Conference South. Staines have reached the FA Cup first round proper on 6 occasions.
So I woke up this morning not feeling that tired. I went to sleep quite early last night (9:30pm). I did this on purpose because it allowed me to have more sleep and more energy for today. Also we was not leaving for the game early so there was no reason for me to wake up early. I did get out of bed at 10am. I had my breakfast and had a bath and got dressed. My dad soon arrived at midday and we checked that we had everything. We went round to the car at 12:55pm and left my house at 1pm.
Now the drive to Staines is fairly easy from my house and the journey was fairly relaxing, there was hardily no traffic until we passed Thorpe Park near the entrance of Staines Town Centre which is where we got held up in traffic but after we turned out of the town centre, the traffic was fine and it a simple 5 minute drive to Wheatsheaf Park from the Town Centre. We finally arrived at Wheatsheaf Park at 1:56pm. There is plenty of roadside parking near the ground as the stadium is located on a housing estate/area. The stadium has its own car park but I think you have to book a parking space.
We parked the car in a nearby road and walked up to the ground and paid to get in and we purchased a programme from the turnstilles whilst we was paying for admission. Once we got in the ground, my mates Johnnie and David were playing football with a blow-up football so I decided to join in and we played for about 30 minutes. After playing until around 2:30pm, I went round to the tea bar and purchased a cheeseburger and hot chocolate. The cheeseburger wasnt the best but the hot chocolate on the other hand was very nice. After I had finished my hot chocolate, memories from losing here last season  come to my mind and it really got me pumped for today`s game because I wanted to get a win to hit them back for beating us here last season. 
Just before kick off, I went round the ground and took some pictures. Wheatsheaf Park is a stadium that I both like and do not like. I like the main stand and the terrace which runs the length of the pitch but I do not like the open area behind both of the goals. Now the main stand is the biggest structure in the stadium. It is very modern and is connected to a building which holds `The Thames Club` which is a gym and some other things. The stand has a roof and holds 300 seats in the colours of blue and yellow for the home kit colours of Staines Town. Opposite the main stand is a covered terrace that is small in terms of height but it runs nearly the length of the pitch. I really like this terrace.
Then behind both goals is a concrete walkway with some netting to stop the footballs from going in people`s gardens. Wheatsheaf Park is kind of crammed into a compact area of Staines so there is not much room for new terracing or stands but for the room that the stadium has it is a good stadium and it a decent stadium for the level that Staines Town play at.
The teams came out and the game kicked off at the weather started to turn for the worst as it started to rain. I quickly put my flags up and then I started a couple chants and it seemed the weather made the atmosphere a lot louder as all the Sutton fans were cramped together under the terrace and everyone was singing. Both Sutton and Staines had a few oppertunities to score in the first half but they didnt take their chances.
Half time and it was still 0-0 and we felt that the game was going to end 0-0 because both teams were having chances but it looked like one of those away games were the ball just wont go into the back of the net. The teams came out and Staines had a good few chances but failed to covert them and Sutton seemed to dominate the the rest of the second half but there still no goals. It seemed like the game would be a dull and boring 0-0 but in the 87th minute, Sutton midfielder Ricky Wellard shot from a tight angle just inside the 18 yard box and scored a screamer and all the Sutton fans went wild and it the game finally turned in Sutton's favour and we managed to hold on for the final few minutes and we managed to grab an important 3 points. We left the ground feeling very happy that we managed to win and we knew that we had paid Staines back for beating us at their ground last season.
The people of Staines Town F.C. are really friendly and they make you feel really welcome. If you live in Middlesex within an hours of Staines, I would definitely suggest going here as you will visit a great ground and experience some decent hospitality from the club and their fans. Also if your team are playing here I would definitely not hesitate about coming here.
Stadium: 7/10
Bar: 7/10
Food & Drink: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Friendliness: 8/10
Value For Money: 8/10 
Overall Rating: 7.3/10